At WebMapSolutions we follow a simple 5 step plan to set up or update any ArcGIS implementations:

1) Problem – We start with a planning phase. This is mostly to understand the problem. Are you looking to widen the reach of your GIS, across your organization? Is there a specific problem you are trying to solve? Are you simply trying to adopt the ArcGIS platform and don’t know where to begin?

2) Data – The old saying ‘ garbage in means garbage out’. Often data is overlooked, or is treated as an afterthought. Our second step in any ArcGIS implementation is to look at the data. Do you have what you need? Does it need cleaning? Is it sitting in an unwieldy data model, and in need of simplification?

3) The ArcGIS Platform – Next is the platform itself. This is part set up and configuration and part education. We set up ArcGIS Online for customers. Give advice on identities, credits, webmaps etc. And discuss what a subscription actually means. An Identity or login gets you access to many apps like ArcGIS Pro, Collector For ArcGIS, Esri Maps For, ArcGIS For Desktop and unlocks all the rich Data/Content and capabilities of the ArcGIS Platform.

4) Esri Maps and apps – Esri have released a slew of free apps and maps. These are desktop, web, and mobile apps which simply need to be configured. We are intimately familiar with what is available. Often we will sit with customers discuss what is available based on individual need, then configure and launch.

5) Configurable Map Viewers – Building web applications which fit with your workflows is now easy. Esri’s first configurable map viewer was the Flex Viewer for ArcGIS. Today both Flex and Silverlight are going away. HTML5 has advanced to such a degree that is has now replaced these technologies. One of the beauties of HTML5 is that it runs on all devices (PC, laptop, smartphone, tablet) and platforms (Apple, Android and Windows). Truly ArcGIS anywhere, anytime on any device. Using a configurable map viewer avoids the need to build application from scratch for you needs. These viewers rely on widgets, or small focused light-weight functional elements. Think of overview map, identify tools, search, redline and draw tools. These can all be built as widgets and simply dropped into the viewer. Taking this approach you can build any number of web applications, providing tools or widgets for the target users. Your maintenance staff will be using a web app with editing, and custom form widgets while your managers might have dashboards and analytics widgets.

Esri have just launched the free Web AppBuilder which is a configurable map viewer. We have been generating web apps using the Web AppBuilder for many of our clients.

There you have it. Five simple steps to get rolling or updating your ArcGIS implementation.

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